Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wireless standards and what they mean for you

GSM, CDMA, LTE, Bluetooth, WiFi, DLNA, and the list goes on and on. But what do they mean to you? How do they affect your digital world? Here is a short overview.

We live in a wireless or increasingly wireless world, though there's not one wireless technology that rules the world, and there are so many of them that understanding what they mean; what works with what; and which is the best of them is bit of a task. So here is our attempt to simplify it for you.
Wireless standards
This is the most used wireless technology for mobile communication. In India most service providers like Airtel, Aircel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone use this technology to deliver their service. It's a second generation (2G) technology and offers voice as well as data services but data on this platform is slow and delivers maximum 54 Kbps speed.
Tata Docomo and Reliance too offer services using this technology, though they also use CDMA, which is a rival technology. MTS in India uses only CDMA.
CDMA is a rival to GSM technology and the phones that support CDMA can't support GSM with the same SIM slot. However, in case you have dual SIM with a slot for CDMA then you can use it for accessing CDMA. CDMA is considered to be a better technology but late entry to the market and lack of open market devices mean that this technology will never become very successful in India and most other markets. It is, however, used on a wider scale in the USA and some other markets. CDMA offers better data connectivity even with its second-generation (2G) technology with speeds of up to 128 Kbps and even higher by clubbing two channels at the operator end. Most dongles sold in India are still based on this technology.
Edge is categorised as the 2.75G of GSM technology and delivers faster data speeds of up to 256 Kbps. Most 2G GSM phones and all 3G GSM phones support this standard.
GPRS is categorised as a 2G data connection and is available in all 2G phones that support data connectivity. You will normally get 54 Kbps speeds and this is the slowest data service offered in the country currently.
EVDO is the 3G service offered by CDMA service providers. The speeds on offer are up to 3.1 Mbps and though speeds higher than that are possible by implementing Rev A and B in India, 3.1 Mbps is the speed offered by all three CDMA operators.
HSPA+ is the 3.5G technology of GSM, and offers very high speeds of up to 21 Mbps in India, though even faster is possible with this technology. Most service providers in India offer 7.2 Mbps speeds, which is possible with HSPA.
This is a 3G technology, and most operators offer HSPA technology, though some low cost handsets only support WCDMA, which is not of much use since speeds are up to 384 Kbps only. Therefore, if a 3G phone only supports WCDMA technology then you should not expect much in terms of speed. However, WCDMA and HSPA are compatible with each other, so you will get 3G access.
LTE is the fourth generation mobile communication technology popularly referred to as 4G. The speeds on offer with this technology go up to 150 Mbps, though most deployments including Airtel's network in India support up to 100 Mbps only. There are two branches of LTE, the more popular one is FD LTE, which is being used in USA and Europe (Videocon will setup a network using this version in India). In India TD LTE is being deployed, which is also the case in China. Unfortunately, these two versions are not compatible with each other as of now. So in case you see an LTE handset launched in Europe and you happen to get it here in India, don't expect it to work on LTE, though it will connect with 3G networks here.
WiFi is a wireless technology for a small area; almost all of us know that. However, there are various standards in that as well, popularly referred to as b, g and n, written as 802.11 b/g/n. So, in case you are wondering what it is that is written here. It simply refers to the version that a particular device supports. b/g/n supports the latest version and will support speeds of up to 150 Mbps, although b/g only supports 54 Mbps and if its just b then you will only get support for 11 Mbps. These standards also affect the range with a maximum range of 230 meters (outdoors) with n; and only 66 meters with b. Newer standards are under development and will support speeds up to 1 Gbps and will have a much wider range. There are permutations and combinations within the existing WiFi standards that deliver more speed and range, although it is the IT departments of companies which deal with that. You can only look at routers and other devices that support dual channel, or dual antennas in case you need better speed and coverage at home. If your device supports the n standard it will support every standard before that, which means in case your router supports only g, and phone supports n, both can work together.
WiFi Direct
This is a new technology, which is WiFi-only but there are changes in the way setup is done. Two devices with WiFI Direct can be paired easily to enable file sharing with speeds of up to 250 Mbps just like Bluetooth (which is slower). While such a thing is possible with the non WiFi Direct version of WiFi as well, the setup is difficult.
Bluetooth is meant to connect nearby devices like two phones for file sharing. It's also used for streaming videos or voice. In the case of headsets this tech is also used to connect control devices like keyboards and mouse. Like other wireless technology this one too has versions and fortunately all are backwards compatible, which means the latest version works with older technology too. Bluetooth 4.0 is the latest. It reduces power requirement and has a very easy setup. It also supports the same speeds as Bluetooth 3.0, although Bluetooth 4.0 based small devices mostly will not support older Bluetooth versions, but phones and larger devices will have no such issue.
Bluetooth 4.0 is not being used in many phones and tablets so far. Bluetooth 3.0 is very common in new devices and supports speeds of up to 26 Mbps. Bluetooth 2.1, which is by far most common in low budget devices, supports up to 2 Mbps. Version 1 is even slower and is not available in most devices now. A2DP is another Bluetooth terminology, which means support for stereo sound in headsets.
DLNA is another standard that is not exactly a wireless technology but ensures that two devices with WiFi or even in a wired mode can talk to each other and are able to share content and even stream it. This is one standard you should look at as increasingly there are several devices in the home used for entertainment like on devices such as TVs, tablets, phones and laptops and easy content sharing amongst them is so very important.
Near field communication basically allows easy connectivity between two devices when they are brought near each other. No setup is required. However, it is a slow speed connection and is useful in sharing limited information like the identity of a device or product and is generally used in conjunction with WiFi and Bluetooth, which gets activated by NFC tags and can be used for file transfer. The use case of NFC includes contactless payment, and access and sharing of content. The technology has a lot of potential and is being used in all the high end phones these days, even though usage of this technology is still evolving.

Aircel offer: Free 3G access between 6 AM to 9 AM

Aircel has announced this offer for both its new & existing subscribers in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Odisha.

Aircel, has announced a new 3G trial program, called Aircel 3G Mornings. Under the programme, the operator is offering free 3G data to its both old and new subscribers for three hours, between 6 AM to 9 AM, for 30 days.
The offer is valid in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Odisha. No fee or pack is required for the users to avail the service. Users with 3G handset in these circles just need to dial the short code *122*456# to get the service.
Free 3G access between 6 AM to 9 AM
Hamir Bakshi, regional business head, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Odisha, Aircel, said, "Mornings are generally meant for catching up with the current happenings, news or even checking updates on one's social network. 'Aircel 3G Mornings' will give our valuable subscribers, an opportunity to try our outstanding 3G data services, post which they can choose from our various 3G plans which are simply best in the industry".
Aircel offers unlimited 3G plans ranging from Rs 7 to Rs 997 and validity ranging from 1 to 30 days.

Rail Budget 2013: Select trains to get free WiFi facility

The Railways is also mulling to allow e-ticketing through mobile phones.

After introducing SMS ticketing service last year, the Indian Railways now is mulling to introduce free WiFi service in the trains. While presenting the Indian Railway Budget 2013, Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has announced the free WiFi facility that will be made available in few select trains for passengers.
Railway Minister P K Bansal has announced that several high end trains will have the free WiFi facility for travelers. This will definitely be a big step towards empowering on the move communications and entertainment.
Select trains to get free WiFi facility
As of now it is not clear as to how and in which form the services will be offered to customers. Neither the minister has revealed specific trains on which the WiFi facility is to be made available.
The Railways is also mulling to allow e-ticketing through mobile phones. There are also plans to improve the existing SMS alert system in order to intimate users about their travel and status of the trains for better commute.

Idea, Aircel, Tata Docomo announce plans for BlackBerry Z10

There is still lot of confusion about BlackBerry 10 special plans offered by operators.

Soon after the launch of BlackBerry Z10, Idea and Aircel have announced special plans for the BlackBerry 10 operating system based handset.
BlackBerry phones, unlike any other smartphone, require operator services (who offer it with special plans) to perform all communication related functions. You can't access mail, chat (BBM) etc on a normal data plan. However, BlackBerry 10 operating system based devices do not require any specific data plan for emails, browsing or BBM. A regular Internet plan will work on the new smartphone. Business Today, quoting its sources in BlackBerry, also said that all existing data plans offered by carriers will also work on the Z10.
Idea, Aircel, Tata Docomo announce plans for BlackBerry Z10
Meanwhile, Aircel has announced that it will offer a new range of exciting usage plans for both prepaid and postpaid subscribers. "Aircel's subscribers will enjoy integrated service bundle of data (1GB data), voice (250 minutes Aircel to Aircel / month) and SMS (250 Aircel to Aircel / month) for 3 months at a recharge of Rs 153," the operator announced in a press release. However, it is yet to said announce anything about its other plans.
Anupam Vasudev, chief marketing officer, Aircel said, "There is an inherent growth in Internet consumption due to the high level of penetration of smartphones and we are happy to offer exciting usage plans to compliment the new BlackBerry Z10."
Reportedly, both Vodafone and Aircel would not offer any unlimited plan for new BlackBerry 10 devices, including the BlackBerry Z10. However, Tata Docomo has announced an unlimited plan for the new BlackBerry devices, priced at Rs 899. The offer will allow customers to enjoy unlimited mobile Internet and unlimited local calls on any mobile or fixed-line network across India at a fixed monthly rental of Rs 899.
Idea Cellular too said that it will offer "a smarter experience along with compelling 3G plans for customers backed by its gold standard 3G network". No other details about specific Idea BlackBerry 10 plans are available right now.
BlackBerry yesterday launched the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone in India for Rs 43,499. It comes with a a dual core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon, 2GB RAM, an 8 megapixel camera at the back with LED flash, a 2 megapixel front facing camera, and other such high end features. You can read our first hand review of the handset here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Airtel to offer voice service over 4G network

Airtel becomes the first operator in the country to offer voice services over 4G or LTE network.

Airtel will become the first operator in the country to offer voice service based on LTE network. However company will use its existing GSM network to offer this service and not the 4G spectrum itself. Pune will be the first city to get the voice service over 4G network.
The company will be using Circuit Switched Fallback (CSFB) voice solution with which automatically and seamlessly transfers a customer onto a GSM network to complete voice calls.
Jagbir Singh, chief technology officer and director, network services group, Bharti Airtel, said "Bharti Airtel has the advantage of pan-India GSM and 3G networks and with the deployment of cutting edge CSFB functionality, we will have the flexibility of using either or both the networks to support voice services on our TD-LTE platform. The solution will enable our 4G customers to enjoy high-quality voice services on GSM network and ultra-fast data services on TD-LTE platform."
To avail the service, users will need to have LTE enabled handsets. However, there are currently no handset with support for TD-LTE network are available in India. Huawei has announced a TD-LTE handset - Ascend P1 LTE - but it is yet to be made available.
Recently, the government allowed voice service over LTE network on payment of Rs 1650 crore fee for countrywide voice network. Whether this service of Airtel falls under that category is not clear, as it is being offered through GSM network.
Airtel also operates LTE network in Kolkata and Bangalore and has spectrum in 8 circles including Delhi and Mumbai.

Aircel announces special plans for BlackBerry 10 devices

Aircel is the first operator so far to announce plans specifically for BlackBerry 10.

As The Mobile Indian had reported earlier, Aircel today announced a range of postpaid and prepaid plans for the buyers of the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone, which was launched in India today.
Though Aircel has not announced details of all the plans, it said that subscribers will enjoy integrated service bundle of data (1GB data), voice (250 minutes Aircel to Aircel / month) and SMS (250 Aircel to Aircel / month) for three months at a recharge of Rs 153.
Aircel announces special plans for BlackBerry 10
Anupam Vasudev, chief marketing officer, Aircel said, "There is an inherent growth in Internet consumption due to the high level of penetration of smartphones and we are happy to offer exciting usage plans to compliment the new BlackBerry Z10.”
Sunil Dutt, managing director for India at BlackBerry said, "We are pleased to work with Aircel to bring customers in India the powerful new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone. Backed by Aircel's network and service plans, BlackBerry Z10 customers will be delighted with a re-invented communication experience, seamless multitasking, and easy access to multiple social networks."

Uninor to refund prepaid balance to Mumbai users

Subscribers in Mumbai should visit 12 Uninor outlets in the city with Uninor SIM and a Photo ID to get the refund.

Uninor, which failed to bag spectrum for Mumbai in recently held auctions, has started the process of refunding the unused talktime of its Mumbai subscribers. The company has 18 lakh subscribers in the city.
To get the refund, Uninor subscribers in the city will have to visit outlets set up by the operator with a photo ID and Uninor SIM card. Uninor has set up outlets in Kalyan West, Dombivali East, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, Kurla East, Vashi, Mira Road, Andheri E, Dadar East, Malad East, Borivali West, Thana and Dharavi - Sion.
Refunds will be available at 12 Uninor company and franchisee stores to start with for a period of 15 days. The operator has said that the number of stores will be doubled and time period would also be extended should the need arise. The company will also incentivise its franchisees for each successful refund. Uninor will verify the unitilised balance on the SIM and pay out cash refunds on the spot.
Uninor to refund prepaid balance
Company said that it has by Sunday disbursed an approximate amount of over Rs 4 lakhs as refunds. This initiative is now being publicly announced and scaled up.
Uninor has also said that it will help subscribers in porting out to other mobile networks in the city, so that subscribers can retain their number.
MNP port out services will be available exclusively from the helpline number 9175091750 and does not require customers to visit the stores. Port-out codes will be provided to customers over the same call instantly.
Uninor's services will continue uninterrupted in the six circles of Maharashtra and Goa, Gujarat, UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. In these circles, fresh spectrum for 20 years has already been secured.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

No mobile number deactivation if balance Rs 20 or more: TRAI

If you have not used the mobile number for 90 days whose balance is less than Rs 20, then operators can deactivate your number.

If your prepaid mobile number has Rs 20 or more balance left then it could not be deactivated by the mobile operator even if you won't use the number for any purpose, according to a recent decision of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Announcing the recent amendment to a regulation on deactivation of mobile phone numbers due to non-usage, TRAI said, "The mobile connections of prepaid consumers shall not be deactivated for any period of non-usage less than 90 days."
No mobile number deactivation
Also, the regulator said that an 'Automatic Number Retention Scheme' shall be implemented for prepaid consumers on payment of reasonable charges.
"A consumer whose connection is deactivated shall be given a grace period of 15 days within which he can reactivate the same number," TRAI added further.
The Regulations also mandate implementation of a 'Safe Custody Scheme' for postpaid consumers on payment of a reasonable charge. Such consumers will not be required to pay monthly rental during the period of safe custody.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

MTS to shut down operations in 10 circles

MTS has announced that it will participate in the upcoming spectrum auction, but is likely to bid in only 11 circles.

MTS, a part of Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL), has decided to wrap up its telecom services in 10 circles of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, North East, Orissa and Punjab.
The operator has also asked its customers to port out to other telecom operators of their choice to avoid inconvenience.
MTS was forced to take this decision because the Supreme Court of India, in February 2012, canceled SSTL's 21 licenses in connection with the 2G scam.
To keep its operation running in other 11 circles Vsevolod Rozanov, president and chief executive officer, Sistema Shyam TeleServices said, "I would like to confirm our intention to participate in the upcoming spectrum auctions in March 2013. We are in the process of drawing an optimal strategy for the auctions based on several factors including spectrum pricing, levels of competition etc."
"The intent is to now look at life beyond all the uncertainties and build an even stronger MTS brand in India. The go forward plan includes continuing with the company's focus on its data centric-voice enabled strategy in select circles," added Rozanov.
SSTL has a customer base of over 14 million, out of which less than 15 per cent come from the impacted circles.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Videocon announces new data packs; 1 GB data @ Rs 58

Videocon is offering 6 data packs with starting price of Rs 5 and offers up to 3 times the data for the same price.

Videocon Mobile Services has launched new internet packs, called SuperNet data plans, starting at Rs 5, which claims to offer upto 3 times more internet data than other service providers.
Under its SuperNet plan series, Videocon is offering six data packs called as the SuperNet 5, SuperNet 13, SuperNet 22, SuperNet 58, SuperNet 96 and SuperNet 251.
Videocon announces new data packs
Supernet 5 pack offers 35 MB of data for a day, while Supernet 13 is priced at Rs 13 and offers 300 MB of 2G data for 3 days. For Rs 22 you can get 500 MB of data for 5 days under SuperNet 22 pack. Similarly, 1 GB data is priced at Rs 58 and is valid for 21 days while Rs 96 offers 3 GB data for 28 days and Rs 251 would give you 15 GB of data for 90 days.
Videocon offers data service on EDGE network which faster than GPRS but slower than 3G. These offers are valid in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. The offers vary slightly from circle to circle.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Telecom commission wants to allow voice service over LTE network

Operators like RIL and Tikona will be able to offer voice services on payment of Rs 1,650 crore.

Telecom Commission has in principle allowed voice services over LTE (4G) network. However, operators who wish to do so will have to pay Rs 1650 crore (the amount paid by incumbent mobile operators for 2G voice services) to the government.
However the decision has to be accepted by the Telecom Ministry before it actually becomes a norm. The decision is also likely to be challenged in the court, as 4G spectrum was sold at much cheaper rate compared to 3G services because voice services was not allowed on it.
Telecom commission wants to allows voice service
Operators who won 4G spectrum in auctions held in 2010, like Reliance Infotel, Tikona, Aircel and Bharti are going to benefited if the recommendations are to be accepted. The biggest beneficiary (of this decision) would be Reliance Infotel as it has nationwide 4G spectrum but, unlike Airtel and Aircel, does not have 2G or 3G network on which it could offer voice services.
4G is the next generation of wireless technology and offers almost five times the speeds (data) of 3G network. Most operators who won 4G licenses have chosen LTE technology for their network.
Currently voice services accounts for almost 85 percent of Indian carriers' revenues while data services contribute just about 5-6 percent of their total mobile services' revenues.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Aircel launches mobile money service with Visa

Through Visa's managed platform, Aircel mobile subscribers will have access to a financial account that is linked to their mobile phone number in order to receive various services.

Aircel has announced the launch of its mobile money service with Visa and ICICI. Aircel thus becomes the first operator to launch mobile money with Visa's Mobile Managed Service, which was launched today by Visa and is touted as "world's first bank-grade managed service platform for mobile money".
Through Visa's managed platform, Aircel mobile subscribers will have access to a financial account that is linked to their mobile phone number in order to receive services such as cash deposits and cash withdrawals, money transfer to third parties, self-reload of prepaid mobile credit, and various utility bill payments.
Geoff King, head of mobile banking, Aircel, said, "We are extremely pleased to launch Mobile Money, providing our customers with a safe, secure and instant way of managing their financial needs. By building 'Mobile Money' on the Visa platform and partnering with ICICI Bank, we have joined forces with two companies that have a strong pedigree in financial services, together with a great desire to deliver innovative financial service solutions to better meet the needs of the country's unbanked. Aircel brings to the partnership not only our mobile network but just as importantly our attention and care in serving our customers every day with many millions of small cash transactions through our vast retailer and distributor setup."
Aircel launches mobile money service
Currently, Airtel and Vodafone are also offering mobile money services in India under the brand name Airtel Money and m-paisa respectively.
However, Visa's this new initiative is likely to pour new vigour into the mobile money services in India.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Aircel is offering 10 minutes of calls on consumption of 1 MB of data in a day. But the plan is not at all beneficial. Here is why?

Aircel has launched a new offer under which it is offering 10 minutes of local calls free on consumption of 1 MB of data or more in a day, and you can get this every day. But there is a catch. You have to consume data at the base rate and not as part of any pack.
Now since the base rate of Aircel is 10 paisa per 10 KB for both 3G and 2G, you will have to spend more than Rs 10 on consumption of 1 MB of data. While it still looks like a deal, a look at Aircel's packs and you will realise you can get much more from Aircel for Rs 10.
Aircel offers free calling
In terms of internet, Aircel has Rs 5 pack which offers 50 MB of data for a day, and there is a Rs 3 pack which offer 275 seconds (approx 5 minutes) of local and STD calls, so in Rs 8 you can get 50 MB of data and 5 minutes of calls (Rs 11 will gets you 10 minutes of local and STD calls as well as 50 MB of data), which is a way better deal than this offer.
This offer from Aircel is more of eyewash and a marketing gimmick and doesn't offer any value whatsoever to the consumers.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Huge discounts on products for RCom users

RCom will offer up to 85 per cent discount on more than 15,000 products to its subscribers through its new website.

Reliance Communications has launched a new customer delight program, under which it is offering huge discounts on leading brands across categories to its customers.
Through the program, the operator offers discounts up to 85 per cent across 15,000+ products ranging from 10 different product categories. Reliance Communications has partnered with Martjack Exchange for this service.
Huge discounts on products for RCom users
To avail this service Reliance customers need to sign-in with their Reliance number at This customer delight website offers discounts on national and global brands on a host of product categories ranging from Mobile phones, Apparels, Books, Daily Goods, Electronic Goods, Kitchen Appliances, Jewellery, Watches and Health products.
Reliance customers can receive the delivery of these goods through courier across 500+ cities in the country. One can pay through credit cards, debit cards, cash cards (ITZCard, OxiCard, ICard) or through Net Banking transfer.
The 'Special Privileges' customer delight program is exclusively available only to Reliance customers and to avail the program one needs to sign in with his Reliance CDMA / GSM / Hello / Data Card (GSM and CDMA) and 3G number.
Vodafone also has a similar service for its subscribers through its Vodafone mShop, however it is limited to Movie, rail and Air Tickets and bill payments. Airtel too has a shop where it offers discount on mobiles, TVs and other electronics.

Tata Indicom offers full talktime and calls at half rate for Rs 22

The new pack available for Delhi prepaid customer of the operator.

Tata Indicom, the CDMA mobile operator, has launched a new recharge option priced at Rs 222, which offers full talktime and also calling at half rate, for its customers in Delhi.
Tata Indicom offers full talktime
Prepaid subscribers of Tata Indicom, who buy RC 222 pack, will get charged for all local and STD calls at 1.2 paisa per 2 second. This recharge option comes with a validity of 30 days.
With RC 222, the talk time is credited to core account and it can be used with any other full talk time or more than full talk time packs of Tata Indicom. However, benefit of any STV (special tariff voucher) cannot be used at the same time with this pack.

Idea launches new plans for postpaid 3G data users

The 3G speed booster plans are available at three price points - Rs 100, Rs 175 and Rs 250.

Idea Cellular has launched three new 3G data plans packs which allow Idea postpaid 3G users to enjoy high speed data throughout their bill cycle.
Idea launches new plans
The 3G speed booster plans are available at three price points - Rs 100, Rs 175 and Rs 250 - allowing 300 MB, 500 MB and 1 GB of 3G data, respectively.
Idea subscribers can take these speed boosters multiple times till the end of the current bill cycle. These boosters enhance the speed to 21.1 mbps till the fixed volume of usage. The offers are available to all 3G postpaid - NetSetter and mobile - subscribers who have Unlimited and Bill secure plans.

Rs 2 lakh plus 2 years jail for tinkering IMEI number

All mobile phones carry unique IMEI numbers that helps in identifying it.

Tinkering with the IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity) number of your cell phone could put you in jail for three years. Not only that you could be fined as much as Rs 2 lakh.
This came to light after Madhya Pradesh Police approached the Department of Telecom (DoT) asking for help in a case involving changed IMEI number. Since there is no specific law in the Indian Penal Code pertaining to punishment for unlawful change of IMEI number of a mobile phone, the DoT has advised the police to proceed with the case under Section 65 of the Information Technology Act, reported the PTI.
According to the act, "Whoever knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroy, or alter any computer source code used for a computer, computer program, computer system or computer network, when the computer source code is required to be kept or maintained by law for the time being in force, shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend up to two lakh rupees, or with both."
IMEI number
An IMEI number is a unique code given to a mobile phone that helps in easy and accurate identification of the device. But off late, new software have been invented that allow people to tinker IMEI numbers of a mobile phone that makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to track the concerned device.
In 2009 itself, the Indian government had banned the import of mobile phones without IMEI numbers into the country. Last year, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) had also asked the government to ban all devices with fake IMEI number.
The recent case highlighted by Madhya Pradesh Police is expected to bring the spotlight on mobile phones with fake IMEI number.

Airtel announces voice based services in regional languages

The voice based service will provide information on day-to-day activities including agriculture, devotion, job updates, entertainment, education and health.

Bharti Airtel has launched a voice based value added service, called Apna Chaupal. Especially designed for the rural and semi-urban market, the service will allow Airtel users to browse and subscribe from a bouquet of value added services while on the move by just dialling 58080 toll free.
The voice based service will provide information in the regional language of the customers on key day-to-day activities including agriculture, devotion, job updates, entertainment, education and health. The service will enable customers to easily access a host of informative services like learning agricultural techniques, receive instant updates on Mandi rates and Government jobs, listen to Live Aarti's from popular religious shrines, access entertainment services like Hello Tunes, Comedy FM and radio, receive ball-by-ball updates on cricket matches, learn English, seek career counseling and much more on their mobile phones with just a simple voice call.
Airtel announces voice based services
Commenting on the launch Ramesh Menon, chief executive officer (Mumbai, Maharashtra and Goa), Bharti Airtel said, "At Airtel, it is our constant endeavour to provide life enriching services to our customers across the country especially in the rural markets. In line with this, we are happy to launch the Apna Chaupal service for our customers in Mumbai who can now easily avail all the relevant value added services from a single portal at 58080 without having to memorise the individual dialing numbers of each of the services."
While call to the IVR number 58080 is toll free, customers would be charged applicable subscription rates for the service packs subscribed.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Airtel launches emergency helpline service for women

Airtel subscribers in Odisha, Bengal and Kolkata can dial helpline number 55100 in case of emergency.

In wake of the rise in crimes against females across India, Bharti Airtel has launched an emergency alert service for its subscribers in Odisha, West Bengal and Kolkata.
Airtel launches emergency helpline
Airtel subscribers in the three states can dial helpline number 55100 in case of emergency to send an alert SMS and a pre-recorded voice message to pre-defined 10 numbers.
The message will in turn allow the SMS recipients to track the location of a sender along with the time. Also, these alert messages will repeat three times within just 30 minutes. Initially for one month this service will be free after which it be available for Rs 30 per month

Friday, February 1, 2013

T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 810 to get LTE through software update

T-Mobile is going to send a special update to its Nokia Lumia 810 so it can support LTE. According to Engadget, the Lumia 810 is one of three handsets (the other two include the Galaxy Note II and Nexus 4) the network will add LTE support via this software update. However, no one knows exactly when this special upgrade will roll out to folks’ handsets.This definitely gives the Nokia Lumia 810 some much-needed appeal, as it’s not one of Magenta’s best-selling phones. The Lumia 810 is a nicely built device with a solid feel, and since it will soon carry LTE, consumers get a good Windows Phone 8 device for a cheap price.

US Cellular offers $300 to families who switch to their network

US Cellular is running a neat campaign, offering $300 to families that bring along two or more lines to their network, and activate a smartphone. The handy incentive comes in the form of a prepaid MasterCard debit card, which can be easily used to get the real-life cash from any ATM.
US Cellular is currently offering $40 unlimited data plans to new and existing customers living in its LTE markets. At the moment, 58% of the carrier’s network is LTE-enabled with that figure set to increase to almost 90% by the end of 2013.
When it comes to phones you can get from US Cellular, there are a number of options to choose from like the Huawei Ascend Y, which is offered for a single cent; and more powerful, LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy S III that could be yours for $149.99.

Aircel launches unlimited local pack for Mumbai

New Aircel customers can avail unlimited local Aircel to Aircel calls for a month for just Rs 105.

Aircel has launched a new recharge card for its new customers, which costs Rs 105 and offers talktime worth Rs 50 and unlimited free Aircel to Aircel local calls for a month.
Other local calls are charged at 1.2 paisa per second while STD calls cost 1.5 paisa per second. Aircel is also offering 500 MB of data free with this pack.
Aircel launches unlimited local pack
SMSes under this pack will be charged at Rs 1 for local, Rs 1.5 for STD and Rs 5 for ISD. The free local Aircel to Aircel calling offer is valid for 30 days under this new pack. The benefit can be extended by 30 days by recharging with any denomination of Rs 100 and above. A fair usage policy of 3000 minutes per month is applicable for the free Aircel local calls.
Existing customers of Aircel can also avail the free Aircel to Aircel calling offer by paying a one-time fee of Rs 99, post which the subscriber will only need to recharge with Rs 100 and above to get the facility.
Recently, Aircel launched a plan that offers free roaming across all Aircel networks called 'One Nation, One Rate'.
Aircel has been reducing its footprint in circles where it has less than 1 per cent market share but it has been aggressive in circles like Mumbai where it registered a growth of 21 per cent last quarter in revenue over the same period last year.